Why Christina Aguilera's Whitney Houston Tribute Offended Some Fans

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By Mathew Jedeikin

There were a number of performances during Sunday night's American Music Awards ceremony that left viewers talking and sharing their opinions online, including Christina Aguilera's much-discussed tribute to Whitney Houston. Although plenty of viewers obviously enjoyed the performance, as Aguilera is an undeniably talented vocalist, a number of people have questioned whether or not Aguilera was the best performer to take on the tribute. Given how much Houston's legendary career represented to black women, users on Twitter have noted that there a lot of black artists who they would have preferred to see honoring Houston.

Houston has a groundbreaking career that made a long-lasting impact on pop culture and the recording industry. She received countless number of awards, has the best-selling single of all time by a female artist, and is known for having inspired a generation of artists. Houston tragically passed away in 2012.

The 2017 AMAs aired on Sunday, Nov. 19, and Aguilera performed a medley of songs from Houston's 1992 movie The Bodyguard including "I Will Always Love You," "I Have Nothing," "Run To You," and "I'm Every Woman," in honor of the film's 25th anniversary. The performance earned a standing ovation from a majority of the audience, and Aguilera later took to Twitter herself to thank Houston's family for letting her sing the late-singer's tracks.

"To the AMAs to Whitney's beautiful family," Aguilera said in a video posted to social media, "thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. Thank you so much for making a little girl's dream come true." As Aguilera has noted before, Houston has been an inspiration of hers, so it's understandable she would be humbled to be able to perform a tribute to one of her idols.

However, the reception to Aguilera's tribute to Houston on Twitter was quite mixed.

People Wondered Why Aguilera Was Chosen

Quite a few people simply wondered why Aguilera was selected.

Specifically, Why A Black Artist Wasn't Chosen To Honor Houston?

Aguilera is an incredibly talented artist, as she certainly has the awards and accolades to prove it. However, some users on Twitter are curious why she was chosen instead of a black artist.

Houston Fans Used GIFs to Express Their Frustration

Even using some of the shadiest memes online to slam Aguilera's performance.

Some People Are Criticizing Aguilera's Vocals...

"Christina Aguilera about to wake Whitney Houston up with all that yelling," one user jokingly tweeted.

...While Others Say The Performance Shows How Amazing Houston Was

Perhaps some of the hating online was a testament to how amazingly incomparable Houston's vocals were.

As Users On Twitter Point Out, Houston Represented A Lot To Black Women

With no disrespect to Aguilera, many people feel like the AMAs could have selected an up and coming black artist to tribute Houston, especially given what she represented.

Aguilera Is An Icon, But Some Viewers Would Have Preferred A Black Female Artist

Again, a lot of people questioning the selection of Aguilera don't have a beef with her, per se, but would have preferred a different entertainer do the tribute.

Overall The Reception To Aguilera's Performance On Twitter Was Mixed

Is a do-over possible?

Pink's Face During Aguilera's Performance Became A Meme

However, Pink quickly clarified on Twitter that she meant no disrespect to Aguilera. "I am in awe of Christina's talent," she tweeted. "Show the clip where I'm in tears, you negative Nancy's. [sic]"

Some Viewers Say A Video Tribute Would Have Been Better

Arguing that no one can do Houston's talent justice.

However, Plenty Of People Certainly Enjoyed The Performance

"You did that," one fan (and I'm assuming they're a fan of Aguilera given that their username appears to have been inspired by one of the singer's albums) tweeted.

And Obviously Aguilera Has Lots Of Supporters On Twitter, As Well

Like supporters have pointed out, Aguilera has her own unique voice and it's unreasonable to expect that she sound just like Houston.

However, given how much Houston's legacy means to many it's understandable that not everyone enjoyed the performance.